| France enters the third World Championship as Europe’s No. 3 representative after a 25-6 victory over Finland in the European qualification tournament. It is the second straight entry for France, which has yet to win a game at the World Championship. Last time in Germany, France lost to Japan 23-6 before getting beaten by European archrival Germany 36-7 in the third-place playoff.
France is loaded with talented offensive weapons such as running backs Laurent Marceline, Sandino Octobre, and tight end Yoan Schnee, all of them have played in the NFL Europa.
Marceline played in the NFL Europa during the 2003-06 seasons. Having a 185-cm, 100-kg frame, Marceline shows the powerful running style. Back in France, he played for an amateur club Flash and became one of the best running backs in the nation. He set a club record for the single-season rushing yards with 1,500 yards in the 2002 season and was named France’s Running Back of the Year.
Marceline also has the catching ability and caught 11 passes for 186 yards, the fourth among national players, in the 2006 season as a Rhein Fire.
Teaming up with Marceline in France’s backfield is Octobre. Playing for the Amsterdam Admirals in 2005, Octobre rushed for 94 yards in a game against the Frankfurt Galaxy and set a single-game rushing record for the national players.
The key man of French air attack should be Schnee, who concluded his four-season stint at the NFL Europa last year. His best season was the 2003 season, when Schnee recorded three receptions for 28 yards for the Admirals. He also saw some action in the special teams.
France has listed four quarterbacks in the provisional 75-man national team roster for the World Championship and two of them have the decent experience in the international games. Jean-Francis Franco helped France to win the bronze medal at the World Games in two summers ago while William Leonardo De Sa led the team in the European qualification tournament.
Belonging to Pool 1 in the World Championship, France tries to avenge Japan on Saturday, July 7 in the first game of the tourney before taking on Sweden on Tuesday, July 10.